Hooniverse Asks- What are the Coolest Factory Flares?

Office Space

Extending the wheel arches of a car or truck is a common visual representation of the vehicles performance credentials. It’s also a sign of the disconnect between engineer and designer as the added width required for fat tires was obviously not telegraphed at the design’s outset.

Factory flares have also long been a prime element of any special bodywork package, usually completing the butchification of the car’s lower half in conjunction with rocker extensions and air dams. Some cars – the Mercedes 500E as example – even use their flares as sole indication that the car is one not to be messed with, being otherwise almost indistinguishable from its lessor brethren. Flares are just that iconic and important.

But which are the best? What factory flares do you think carry the most… flair, as they say? Do you like the Countach 5000’s odd angles wrapped around impossibly fat tires? Or, are you more of a 944 organic bulge aficionado? Whichever flare shoots off your flare, let us know.

Image source: Cinema De Novo

65 Comments

    1. At the time these flares were called "overfenders" similar to Mercury Capri RS 5.0 & Mitsu Starion.
      Clumsy name for sure.

  1. Funny that you mention the 500E flares. My co-worker is 22 or 23 but for some reason has an infatuation with '80s Benzes. A friend of his runs a European car junkyard and one day he showed me a photo that his friend had sent him on his cell phone. It was the front end of a W124 Mercedes, and you could just barely make out the flared fenders. He said his friend was asking if he would like to buy the car.
    I was like "Whoa, an E500! Those are bad ass!"
    "A what?"
    He had no idea what he was looking at. I gave him a quick lesson and he Googled more info about it, and instantly became excited. He ended up buying it for like $5K (it's a salvage title and a little ratty but it runs good) and it's now his daily driver. He let me take it out for a spin and it was a lot of fun. Not surprising that his rear tires never have tread.
    <img src="https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/858574_10200675847729455_1874427788_o.jpg&quot; width=650>
    As far as my favorite goes, I think it has to be the pocket flares on the TE27 Corolla. A little piece of badass on an otherwise unassuming car.
    <img src="http://www.nettekeyif.net/data/media/2/toyota_te27_corolla.jpg&quot; width=650>

    1. The local Blockbuster is closing and has a Going Outta Business Sale.
      Picked up 2 copies of Idiocracy.

    1. Darn, you beat me to it! I was just about to post this. By far the coolest factory flares ever.

        1. Fairlady ZG: The Japan-only HS30-H Nissan Fairlady ZG was released in Japan in October 1971 to homologate the 240Z for Group 4 racing. Differences between the Fairlady ZG and an export market Datsun 240Z include an extended fiberglass ‘aero-dyna’ nose, wider over-fenders riveted to the body, a rear spoiler, acrylic glass headlight covers and fender-mounted rear-view mirrors. The Fairlady ZG was available in three colours: Grande Prix Red, Grande Prix White and Grande Prix Maroon. The "G" in Fairlady ZG stands for "Grande." Although the ZG was not sold in the USA and was never sold outside Japan, in order for it to be eligible for competition in the U.S., Nissan sold the nose kit as a dealer's option which is known as the "G-nose". With the nose added, these 240Zs are often referred to as 240ZGs, outside of Japan.
          So, low production homologation special, but factory none the less. But they are one of the most reproduced fenders in the known universe.

      1. I especially like the artful transition between the flairs and the opening for the slab-sided door.

          1. Definitely one those, "Gosh, it seemed like a good idea at the time" kind of things.

    1. I was going to post the Renegade non-ironically. It's definitely silly, but I still like 'em.

      1. I dunno, I suppose a well done aftermarket set of flares can look better than certain poorly designed factory flares. But, as is the case with most other styling features, 99 times out of 100 the factory look will trump the aftermarket.

    1. If Jeepjeff can admit to liking the Jeep Renegade flairs non-ironically, I can admit to getting all warm and fuzzy every time I see a Volaré Super Coupe.

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